UW Extension bulletin identifies Wyoming pollinators, plants that attract

Picture of the pollinator guide coverIdentifying pollinators in Wyoming, their lifecycles and how to attract them are part of a new booklet from the University of Wyoming Extension.

“Promoting Pollinators on Your Place” looks at not only the myriad of insects – and hummingbirds – but also the flowers and other plants that attract them.

Pollination is essential for flower reproduction and many crops in Wyoming.

“Growing conditions for plants in Wyoming can be tough,” said Jennifer Thompson, extension small-acreage team coordinator. “Despite this, the state is host to an amazing variety of pollinators that visit them.”

The booklet also has raising bees and beekeeper information sections.

Copies of the bulletin are available at extension offices and many conservation district and weed and pest control district offices. A pdf version is available for download at bit.ly/wypollinators. The website contains links to all references mentioned in the booklet.

Jones said knowing what pollinators are there and what they are looking for, such as nectar, pollen and nesting sites, can help people create conditions that promote pollinator well-being in backyards, vegetable plots, hoop houses and fields.

“I have never met anyone who didn’t at least have a practical appreciation of plant pollination, and the majority of people love the beauty of flowers so this new publication will be useful to all Wyomingites growing gardens or planting landscapes,” said Scott Schell, extension assistant entomologist and among the contributors.

Jeff Edwards, extension pesticide training coordinator, said many people are concerned about the dwindling numbers of pollinators but don’t have a point of reference of what is normal.

“But we do get questions like, ‘Where are the bees this year?’” said Edwards, also a contributor.

“Wyoming does not have the plant or pollinator diversity as many states, but if you plant a pollinator garden and actually observe the insects visiting the flowers, you will be amazed at what shows up,” he said. “Why create this publication?  To inform, encourage and share.”

Funding from the Wyoming Department of Agriculture specialty crop program supports the project.